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25/01/2014 at 18:09

My garden isnt very big but I do have a bird feeder and get regular visits from 5 collared doves and a pair of sparrows.

The odd robin appears on the fence now and again but never comes to feed.

Next door has big evergreen shrubs so there are a lot of Blue tits around too.

25/01/2014 at 18:38

I counted for about 15 mins, then the sun came out and the loppers called. It will have to be tomorrow, come rain (likely) or shine.

I saw my usual collection of tits and finches in the 15mins. and a robin and our resident pair of collared doves. 

25/01/2014 at 19:06

higgy - that was a huge amount of birds you saw.  I could hear the sparrows cheeping away in the hedge next to the window but I couldn't SEE them so not included.  Still haven't been able to record my data yet.

25/01/2014 at 19:17

Haven't submitted a count, because I've not been counting consistently!  However, today these have been here in the garden:

at least twelve blue tits

four long-tailed tits

three coal tits

four great tits

one jay

one cock pheasant

two magpies

one crow

one robin

one male blackbird

two "sbbs" - couldn't identify because they were half hidden in the shrubs (sbb = small brown bird)

a pair of chaffinches

one greenfinch

one wren

 

I've not been at home all day, so there  must have been other visitors too - the jay and the cock pheasant aren't "regulars"!

The most unusual sighting here - only once in 20 years - was a red-footed falcon a few weeks ago.  If only it had been here today!

 

25/01/2014 at 19:46
Forester2 wrote (see)

higgy - that was a huge amount of birds you saw.  I could hear the sparrows cheeping away in the hedge next to the window but I couldn't SEE them so not included.  Still haven't been able to record my data yet.

That's a fairly normal day here although I would generally see Chaffinch, house Sparrow and Jackdaw also!

Since we have been developing the garden for wildlife and recording what visits our bird list has also grown, we currently sit at 45 species of bird in the four years that we have been doing this! We also have a butterfly list of 20 species and our moth list that we started this summer is at about 110 but we have a few UFO's!!

Having said this we are fortunate to have open countryside at the bottom of the garden but gardening for wildlife does work!!!

Hypercharleyfarley - I reckon your LBB's are most likely to be either sparrows or Dunnocks, the Dunnock is a much overlooked bird and is an interesting little chap when you take time to watch.

Did they look like this...

Dunnock

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36540.jpg?width=427&height=350&mode=max

 Or like these House Sparrows?...

Female House Sparrow

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36541.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

 Male...

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36542.jpg?width=382&height=350&mode=max

 Outside Chance for a LBB could be the Reed Bunting?...

Reed Bunting (male on left, female right)

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36543.jpg?width=303&height=350&mode=max

 Any of those look like your LBB's??

 

 

25/01/2014 at 20:00

Hi Higgy - thanks for the pics - I couldn't be sure but thought "dunnocks" in that they are what I often see here.  I have several bird books + binocs handy in the kitchen but find some species hard to differentiate when I only catch a glimpse!  I have quite a few bird feeders hanging from various trees/shrubs in the garden, and as it's in open countryside there are all sorts of things visiting but not on a regular basis.  For instance, I've not seen a nuthatch this winter, nor any woodpeckers, which I usually do.  There are peregrines nesting a mile or two away, and I often see/hear buzzards overhead when the crows attack them.  Kestrel missing this year.  It was only when the pheasant "shouted" today that I noticed he was there!  Don't think I've ever seen a bunting here, and the bullfinches I used to see seem to have disappeared these past few years, as have the starlings, thrushes etc.  Haven't seen an owl for several years - there used to be little owls + tawnies nearby.

Things have changed such a lot since I first began to notice birds (as a little child & used to have those I-spy booklets) and I can't remember when I last saw a plover or heard a skylark round here.  Sad, isn't it........

25/01/2014 at 20:28

I'd just started my count by 15 mins when the ndn decided to erect an anemometer and other meteorological paraphinalia on one of his washing line support poles...! By the time he'd finished the hour was nearly up AND the forecast rain squalls were becoming more aggressive. I'll just have to try again tomorrow (weather permitting), so have topped-up all feeders at dusk today and pre-baited for action on all fronts surrounding my greenhouse/ hide! tomorrow morning! [Forecast is for heavy continuous rain & strong westerly winds all day. Ugh!!]

25/01/2014 at 21:57

At long last managed to connect with the RSPB site after trying all afternoon and now they want my password which I can't remember from last year - I will now have to wait while they retrieve it and send me a message.  Oh well, as I am 27 and it's getting rather late I'll have a hot chocolate and go to bed.

26/01/2014 at 09:17

All those birds that were hiding yesterday?............... They're all in my garden today - just because I'm going out and don't have time to count them - they're playing games with me 

26/01/2014 at 09:25

Failing to get on the RSPB site here too - not sure their new fancy website is worth the extra hassle.  Will keep my results scribbled on the back of an envelope and have a go at submitting later in the week - thats if i remember.

its a shame - i normally enjoy my bird count - this year its just been a frustrating battle with technology.  Wonder whether overall participation will be up this year ?

26/01/2014 at 09:28

That's what I'm going to do, and I suspect thousands of others also.  

The Birdwatch has had a lot of publicity this year  - even mentioned on the BBC News yesterday morning - so I'm not surprised the site was busy - probably needs more capacity - hopefully people like us will remember to do it later .................... I'll remind you Chicky, if you remind me? 

26/01/2014 at 09:30

website crashed for me yesterday so trying again today

26/01/2014 at 09:48

RSPB site still down!

I manage to get though yesterday and submitted my results but after hitting the 'submit results' button I got a massage something like

'Thank you for submitting your results, the website is experiencing problems try again later'

So I'm not sure if they have gone through or not!!??

Like everyone else I have other birds braving the weather this morning but that's the way it goes I suppose. It's absolutely 'lashing' it down here in North Somerset and the strong wind is creating horizontal rain!!  The birds are being battered today but they're still feeding, My female Sparrowhawk is also still passing the feeders every 20mins or so but not managing to catch anything so I wonder if she's young and inexperienced?

Best

Higgy

26/01/2014 at 10:02

I had trouble with the RSPB website the first time I used it for the count. Since then I've always held back til after the rush. 11pm tonite maybe

26/01/2014 at 10:32

Apart from 2 woodies I've seen nothing this morning, hardly surprising as it is pouring with rain.  What do I do if my usual assortment of birds don't come.  Does the results page ask about weather conditions - I don't remember being asked this before.  It doesn't seem worth submitting just 2 woodies!  Mags  Couldn't do it yesterday as out all day.

26/01/2014 at 10:37

We get lots of dunnocks charley and they're ground feeders so you may be able to identify them more easily that way - they won't be sitting on a feeder! In a previous garden, not far from here, we had a tree creeper who regularly visited which was lovely.

I also had trouble getting on the site to submit yesterday but it was working later on yesterday when I tried it. 

26/01/2014 at 10:38

You just have to submit what you see!

This does seem a shame I know but I presume that the countries general weather conditions etc come into play at some point.

I think most on here experience several species that simply don't turn up on the day.

If you feel it really is a complete misrepresentation of the norm you could put out some more feed and try again in a couple of hours maybe?

26/01/2014 at 10:47

I agree that it's not always a true representation of our gardens. I've only been in this house less than a year and it was quite sterile but over that time I've had a good amount of blue, great and coal tits which were largely absent yesterday. Perhaps the RSPB could organise a more in depth survey for those of us who love to birdwatch in our gardens, so that we could log birds over several weeks or something. I had quite a high robin count because there's a pair who were visiting together several times in the hour. I often wonder how they collate that. The dunnocks come in twos and threes but I can see where they go after they feed so I know it's the same ones. They could be the only dunnocks in the immediate area yet it could appear there are lots, so how do they use that info?

Did that make sense? I know what I meant! 

26/01/2014 at 10:58

The RSPB website crashed when I pressed the "Submit" button too but I got an email thanking me for the results so I assume they must have been submitted.

Lots more birds today than when I counted yesterday - in spite of the rain.

26/01/2014 at 11:04

I'll hold off submitting my count too - perhaps we should remind each other in a weeks time in case it gets put on the back burner and forgotten. 

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